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# Unlevered Beta: Definition, Formula, Example, And Calculation

Published: February 14, 2024

Learn about the definition, formula, example, and calculation of unlevered beta in finance. Discover how it helps assess risk and inform investment decisions.

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## Understanding Unlevered Beta in Finance

Finance can be a complex field. From analyzing market trends to making investment decisions, it’s important to have a firm grasp on various financial concepts. One such concept that plays a crucial role in financial analysis is the unlevered beta. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the definition, formula, example, and calculation of unlevered beta, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of this essential metric.

## Key Takeaways:

- Unlevered beta is a measure of a company’s sensitivity to market movements, excluding the impact of debt.
- It helps investors evaluate the risk and return associated with an investment opportunity.

## Definition of Unlevered Beta

Before we delve into the formula and calculation, let’s first understand what unlevered beta means. Unlevered beta, also known as asset beta or equity beta, measures the volatility of a company’s stock price relative to the overall market. It represents the company’s systematic risk, which cannot be eliminated through diversification.

Unlike levered beta, which takes into account the company’s capital structure and levels of debt, unlevered beta computes the risk of an investment after removing the effects of borrowing. By doing so, it provides a clearer picture of a company’s intrinsic risk and compares it to the broader market.

## Formula for Unlevered Beta

The formula for calculating unlevered beta is as follows:

**Unlevered Beta = Levered Beta / (1 + [(1 – Tax Rate) × (Debt / Equity)])**

Let’s break down the components of the formula:

**Levered Beta:**This is the beta that incorporates the impact of a company’s debt.**Tax Rate:**The tax rate represents the percentage of a company’s pre-tax income that is paid in taxes.**Debt:**The total debt of the company.**Equity:**The total value of the company’s equity.

## Example Calculation of Unlevered Beta

Let’s consider a hypothetical example to illustrate the calculation of unlevered beta:

- Company ABC has a levered beta of 1.2.
- The tax rate for Company ABC is 30%.
- The total debt of the company is $50 million.
- Company ABC’s equity value is $100 million.

Using the formula, we can calculate Company ABC’s unlevered beta:

- Unlevered Beta = 1.2 / (1 + [(1 – 0.3) × (50 million / 100 million)])
- Unlevered Beta = 1.2 / (1 + [0.7 × 0.5])
- Unlevered Beta = 1.2 / (1 + 0.35)
- Unlevered Beta = 1.2 / 1.35
- Unlevered Beta ≈ 0.89

So, Company ABC’s unlevered beta is approximately 0.89.

## Why is Unlevered Beta Important?

Unlevered beta is an essential metric in finance as it helps investors evaluate the risk and return associated with an investment opportunity. Here are a few reasons why unlevered beta is important:

- It allows investors to compare the risk of different companies within the same industry.
- Unlevered beta provides insights into a company’s exposure to market fluctuations, which is especially crucial during volatile times.
- By removing the effects of debt, unlevered beta helps investors make more accurate valuation models.
- It assists in determining the appropriate cost of capital for a company.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, unlevered beta is a fundamental concept in finance that helps investors understand a company’s intrinsic risk and its correlation with market movements. By excluding the impact of debt, unlevered beta provides a clearer picture of a company’s exposure to systematic risks. Calculating unlevered beta allows investors to make informed decisions and assess the risk and return associated with an investment opportunity. So, the next time you dive into financial analysis, be sure to leverage the power of unlevered beta!